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Things That Ruin Your Smile

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In this day and age of the selfie, your smile is of the utmost importance. An essential part of your smile and of course your oral health are your teeth. It is vital that we protect our teeth and take good care of it, therefore we must watch what we consume and how we clean our teeth. Here are a few things that can be harmful to your dental health.

Diet pills
Even though they may seem like a quick way to trim your waist, diet pills can also be a fast track to gum disease and tooth decay. Like many over-the-counter and prescription medications, diet pills decrease salivary flow, which causes dry mouth and puts you at risk for gum disease, tooth decay, cavities, and discomfort.

Bottom line: A balanced diet and exercise are the safest way to lose weight and protect your smile.

Contrary to what mom said, sugar won’t directly rot your teeth—but the acid produced when you eat sugar and carbohydrates can. Naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth devour sugar, creating acids that attack tooth enamel, which can lead to decay and a host of other problems, including gingivitis and cavities.

The worst thing you can do is leave sugar lingering on your teeth and gums. Eating any amount of candy and brushing and flossing immediately is actually less damaging than not brushing after eating one piece before bedtime.

Tip: If you can’t brush after a snack attack, eat cheese or yogurt, or chew sugarless gum to boost saliva flow and neutralize acids.

Dry mouth
A dry mouth isn’t just unpleasant, it’s bad for your teeth. Saliva washes away cavity-causing bacteria and neutralizes harmful acids. Without saliva, you would lose your teeth much faster—it helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems.

Tip: Drink lots of water, chew sugarless gum, use a fluoride toothpaste or rinse, and consider over-the-counter artificial saliva substitutes. See your doctor if it’s a frequent problem.

Hot drinks
Your hot-drink habit may be one reason your teeth look a little dingy. Black tea and coffee contain stain-promoting tannins that lodge into the pits and grooves of the tooth enamel, producing a rough, stained surface, which is sticky and can retain decay-producing bacteria.

Tip: Consume such beverages in moderation, drink more water every day, and add milk to your coffee or tea to help neutralize the acids.

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